TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ordering the hiring of election security consultants even though state legislators rejected a similar request earlier this year.
Scott on Thursday announced the state's Division of Elections would hire five contract employees who will assist the department with cyber-security efforts ahead of this year's elections.
There was an effort to infiltrate Florida's election systems in 2016 but state officials have provided limited details. A classified report leaked last year suggested hackers linked to Russian intelligence stole information from a voting systems vendor and used it to send phishing messages to local elections officials nationwide including Florida.
Citing a "growing threat" state officials and Scott asked the Legislature for nearly $500,000 to create a cybersecurity unit. But the request was turned down by state legislators.
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